Maryland residents are likely aware of the devastation that occurred in the Houston area from Hurricane Harvey. Many residents of the city have been displaced, including undocumented immigrants.
Some undocumented immigrants in the Houston area have been fearful of seeking help in the shelters that have been established. They are concerned because they believe that they will be rounded up and deported if they go to the shelters. Much of the fear is because of the aggressive immigration policies that have been put into place by the Trump administration.
According to news sources, the administration is trying to assuage the fears of undocumented immigrants who need help because of the storm. Tom Bossert, the Homeland Security Adviser, stated that the centers won't be used to target undocumented immigrants. He did state that undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes will still be deported and that others will not receive the federal assistance that other displaced people in Texas will be able to receive.
With the federal government's current focus on illegal immigration, it is important for undocumented immigrants to try to obtain legal statuses. They might want to talk to immigration law attorneys about the possible options that they might have. Attorneys may help their clients with submitting applications for visas. If their clients are facing deportation and removal proceedings, they may litigate the issues on their behalf before immigration law judges. They may help their clients to obtain immigration bonds so that they can remain free while their cases are pending. With an attorney's help, an undocumented immigrant may be able to secure the appropriate documents so that he or she does not need to fear being deported.
Source: CNN, "Displaced undocumented immigrants won't face screenings, but unlikely to receive long-term aid", Jeremy Diamond, Aug. 31, 2017